[kcdc 2022] devops, 12-factor and open source

Speaker: Justin Reock @jreock

For more, see the table of contents


  • “It’s no longer the big beating the small, but the fast beating the slow”
  • Book: The Goal – Eliyahu Goldratt. Theory of Constraints for Business Productivity. Business fiction.
  • Book: Phoenix Project. Similar to The Goal but software business fiction
  • Book: The Machine that Changed the World
  • Book: Organizational physics – the science of growing a business. Short. Why businesses fail


  • Change focus from costs to throughput
  • Layoffs reduce costs but decreasing costs
  • Need to both decrease costs and increase throughput
  • Cost = organizational cost
  • Inventory = Code
  • Throughout = Money
  • Doesn’t really matter what improve as long as constantly improving something because entropy makes things worse if do nothing.


  • Chose supported free software and open first policy
  • Deploy in cloud/containers
  • If do container and not 12 factor, don’t see benefits
  • APIs are everything now. Govern APIs
  • Build fail-fast culture. Near instant release (and therefore patch)

Problems with Closed Development

  • Slow to obtain
  • Inflexibility in growth/scaling. ex: fixed number licenses
  • Can’t modify
  • Can’t benefit from others
  • Lose growth vs giving competitors features
  • Less oversight, less security


  • Individual physical servers
  • Virtual machines
  • Containers (stripped down OS powered by one underlying OS)
  • Created ecosystem with proliferation of microservices – Kubernetes (Greek word for captain). Now can have virtual datacenter in a box


Series of characteristics to increase odds of success in cloud/containers. The less you do for an app, the more friction you will have going to cloud/containers.


  • Codebase – in version control, deploy often
  • Dependencies – explicitly declare and isolate
  • Config – store in env. Env variables popular again
  • Backing Services – treat as attached resources
  • Build. release, run – separate strategies
  • Processes – one or more stateless processes
  • Port binding – how to expose services
  • Concurrency – Docker gives for free
  • Disposability – fast startup, graceful shutdown
  • Dev/prod parity – keep as similar as possible
  • Logs – push events out to central system via event streams
  • Admin processes – manage as one offs


  • About flow
  • Use left and right brained activities
  • Problem solving – hypothesis and feedback from build system.
  • Feedback feels good and keeps in state of creative flow
  • The longer you wait for a build, the less happy you are
  • Few track local build times.
  • Waste waiting for and debugging local and CI builds
  • 10x developer – organizational culture matters more than individuals

Benefits of faster cycle time

  • Less idle time
  • Less content switching – people can’t multi task. Also, bad for brain to try
  • More focus
  • Build more often
  • Earlier quality checks
  • Few expensive downstream incidents
  • Smaller change sets
  • Fewer merge conflicts
  • More efficient troubleshooting
  • Faster mean time to recovery


  • 1970s – JIT manufacturing
  • 1980s – Business process reengineering
  • 1990s – Change management
  • 2000s – Agile, Lean Six Sigma
  • 2010s – DevOps
  • 2020+ DPE (developer productivity engineering)


  • Engineering approach to productivity
  • Acceleration and analytics tech to improve dev experience
  • build cache – Gradle has option to use. Also Gradle Enterprise brought to Maven
  • Aligns with management goals – faster TTM (time to market), reduced cost, improved quality
  • https://gradle.com/learning-center-by-objective/
  • https://gradle.com/developer-productivity-engineering/handbook/

My take

Good mix of current and historical examples from outside computing (I didn’t blog about the history part), I hadn’t heard of 12-Factor prior to reading the abstract for this talk. I would have liked more time on it since it is a third of the title, but the talk flowed well as is.

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